<p></p> <p>These days, more and more people are doing their banking via smartphones or tablets. Mobile banking is convenient and offers consumers a better way to monitor their accounts.</p> <p>But it also offers more chances for consumers to fall victim to fraud, according to the Technology Credit Union (Tech CU), a San Jose, Calif., credit union that serves Silicon Valley professionals and their families.</p> <p>Most banks and credit unions use identification authentication, <a alt="((CONLINK|2722|multifactor%20login%20procedures))" href="">multifactor login procedures</a> and encrypted communications to prevent cybercriminals from accessing clients' banking information, according to Tech CU.</p> <p>[<a alt="((CONLINK|6700|How%20to%20Make%20Sure%20Your%20Online%20Banking%20Is%20Safe))" href="">How to Make Sure Your Online Banking Is Safe</a> ]</p> <p>Here are some tips to keep your information safe when you use <a alt="((CONLINK|7018|a%20smartphone%20or%20tablet))" href="">a smartphone or tablet</a> to access your bank account. Click "next" on the upper right of this page to proceed.</p> <p></p>

<strong>password-protect your mobile device</strong>

<p>It's absolutely essential to , and to lock it when you're not using it, according to Victor Smilgys, vice president of enterprise applications at Tech CU.</p> <p></p>

<strong>Don't text-message any information about your account.</strong>

<p> Text messages are not transmitted on a secure channel, Smilgys said. But if you do disclose your account data to someone via text message, then...</p> <p></p>

<strong>Frequently delete text-messages from your financial institution</strong>

<p> on your mobile device, especially if they contain sensitive information.</p> <p></p>

<strong>Install anti-virus software, and keep it updated. </strong>

<p></p> <p>"Just like computers, mobile devices can be exposed to malware or other virus-type components," Smilgys said.</p> <p>There are several anti-virus apps available for Android phones, and <a alt="((CONLINK|6978|at%20least%20one%20for%20iPhones%20and%20iPads))" href="">at least one for iPhones and iPads</a> .</p> <p></p>

<strong>Monitor your financial records and accounts on a regular basis.</strong>

<p> Consider having electronic alerts on account activity sent to your email account or mobile device.</p> <p></p>

<strong>Report any banking applications that appear to be malicious</strong>

<p>, or anything that doesn't appear to be normal, to your financial institution right away.</p> <p></p>

<strong>If you change your mobile number or lose your cellphone, contact your financial institution right away</strong>

<p> so they can update your mobile banking information.</p> <p>"That way, we can be alerted to any activity on your account if you might have stored some sensitive information on your phone," Smilgys said. "You should also contact your provider to have your service disconnected."</p> <p></p>

<strong>Don't download banking apps without checking them out first.</strong>

<p> Fraudulent apps, even those that pretend to be that of a real bank, will continue to pop up.</p> <p>Smilgys said you should check the legitimacy of an app with your financial institution before downloading from an app store. Better yet, get the app directly from your financial institution's website.</p> <p></p>

<strong>Do not hack, "jailbreak" or otherwise modify your device</strong>

<p>, because doing so could leave you susceptible to malware infection.</p> <p>"Especially with the iPhone, people like to install a version that allows them to do additional development on it," said Gabriel Garcia, mobile strategist with Tech CU. "That's how the viruses or Trojans allow themselves to get in there, if people are using that [modified] version of the operating system and not the protected version."</p> <p>Tech CU is currently working with a vendor to do fraud monitoring on its own mobile-banking platform.</p> <p>"That's an additional security level on our side to see if any fraudulent transactions are happening," Garcia said. "To that point, we also did a security audit with some of our mobile applications to further protect them from some of the popular mechanisms that hackers use to attack that mobile channel."</p>

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